Before/After: The Fish

When I moved into this place, a plastic fish was hanging on the kitchen wall under a clock. Tacky, but I kind of liked it. Must be the influence of living in Florida. 😉

I hung it in the bathroom, which seemed appropriate.

This morning, because it’s been raining steadily for several hours and I was bored, I took a pic to see what I could do with it. I used the new Sony 50mm, no flash.

Here’s the orig, straight out of the camera.

I picked out a textured background and masked the fish onto it. Then I had to figure out how to add a drop shadow, to make it look more realistic. Considering what I was working with, that’s a laugh but trust me, without it the fish looked like shit.

Turns out there are no easy answers to “add drop shadow to layer mask” online. In fact, I couldn’t find anything that did what I wanted, so I experimented. After you work in Photoshop a while (I’ve been using it for almost twenty years!), you get an idea of how to accomplish something.

There are many ways to do things in PS. This is how I added that drop shadow:

1. Selected the fish layer mask; the marching ants outlined it.
2. Highlighted the background level that contained the original fish (first photo).
3. That placed the marching ants on the fish in the bottom level.
4. I copied it, then pasted it on a new layer with a transparent background.
5. Added the drop shadow.

Worked like a freaking charm, but it took me half an hour to determine how to do it. I tried several other things before figuring this out. Heh. I was rather proud of myself.

Once the drop shadow was in place, the rest was easy. Luminar, Topaz Glow2, added the water bubbles (special brush!), and voila!

Here’s the final result.

How long did it take me to do this? A couple hours. Art, however tacky, takes time.

See you next time.

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About Fenraven

Fenraven happily lives in south Florida, where it is really hot most of the year. Find him on Twitter and Facebook by searching on 'fenraven'.
This entry was posted in art, photography, RL and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Before/After: The Fish

  1. A.M.B. says:

    I like it too, and the final result looks fantastic. It might be tacky, but it’s part of the history of your home. My kitchen came with a handful of hideous painted tiles on the walls. I wanted to get rid of them at first, but now I’ve decided to keep them when we renovate (a few years from now… I wish we could do it sooner!).

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